The nation’s second new nuclear enrichment facility could be under construction before the end of the year, while a third languishes in need of a Dept. of Energy loan guarantee. The new facilities—one in Idaho, one in New Mexico and a third in Ohio—are needed to supply existing nuclear powerplants in the United States and could be expanded to supply new ones.
Paris-based Areva on Feb. 11 signed a two-phase contract with San Francisco-based URS Corp. to build a nuclear enrichment facility, called Eagle Rock, on a 4,000-acre greenfield site in Idaho that used to be a potato farm. Four days later, Areva learned that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s final environmental impact statement declared the facility’s impacts would be small. NRC recommended license approval.